Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's all about the bones . . . and some real Halloween scares

The Youngest Child was determined to be a skeleton this year so I put my cutting and glueing skills to the test making him a suit of bones. Luckily, it was chilly out so I just layered him up under a black sweat suit. He had a great time walking around with the older kids and saying, "Trick or Treat!"

Unfortunately, Middle Daughter and two friends (one boy and one girl) were on their way to the local hyper-decorated Trick or Treat house when they ran into a group of middle school bullies who decided to make a grab for their backpack. We had heard from other trick-or-treating parents that there were some kids taking candy from the little ones but the girls had never seen that aspect of innercity living before. It wasn't quite a mugging but it wasn't quite "kids being kids" either. They all had some bumps and were pretty shook up. It was a pretty scary Halloween for them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lovely Lupine and her seven little leftovers.

There is only so much I can do with alliteration but I try.

First off is a glimpse of my lovely lupine lace socks. I've had to reknit a few times because, while the pattern is easy to memorize, the non-pattern rounds are easy to lose track of. As I have numerous times! I finally bought the Lace Triangles book by Evelyn A. Clark and I think I am going to use it for some Christmas presents. Or, possibly, Mother's Day presents! Just give me time . . .

Secondly, the Seven Little Leftovers are from the closets of my teenaged daughters. Luckily (or unluckily) for me, Youngest Daughter needed some dress clothes for church and school so we went shopping today. Three stressful hours later, success at last. That means, out with the old. four tee-shirts, one pair of sports shorts, a hideous hoodie and one too-short plaid skirt. Shh, don't tell her about the skirt!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day'

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

I don't have any real connection to Saint Crispin's Day, which is today, October 25, but I heard this story recently that made me pull out my copy of Henry V.

Supposedly - and really, why would they lie? - a professor at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania read the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V to inspire the college's football team before the big game. And it worked!

Just rereading that speech tears me up. The 1989 film version is excellent. Say what you may about Kenneth Branagh's real life behavior, he is one fabulous director and actor here.

I didn't do anything so interesting today but I did get to see Crazy Aunt Purl at a book signing tonight. I had a very busy day and even missed a meeting but I managed to get there just a few minutes late with GFMel. Aside from a busy-body guy in a Steelers jacket who couldn't believe we were all there to hear her read about divorce and knitting, it was a lovely crowd.

Even Miss GFM had a good time!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, when hobbies collide.

I've been swimming much more strenuously with a Masters Swim group - and it is definitely making me stronger. And sore-er. Okay, more sore. Especially my wrists and ankles. Flexibility is important for an efficient swim stroke BUT - now it hurts to knit. And to blog - that typing thing really hurts! So, I'm taking a day off, reading and avoiding knitting. Swimming usually feels good so I went to practice tonight.

In the meantime, enjoy this:

Gummy Bears

You may be smooshie and taste unnatural, but you're so darn cute.

What is funny is that I love Gummi Bears! And Swedish Fish and, my absolute favorite, Orange Slices. I like that they don't really taste like fruit, just some approximation thereof. Also, they are so sweet that I only eat a few at one time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Photos to follow - so they say!

I'd have love to post something yesterday but No Photos make for a Dull Post. And it's not even my fault! I generally have very few problems with Blogger but yesterday's "unable to post" message drove me away from my computer.

Luckily, the sun came out yesterday for a few hours and it brought back the autumn that we know and love here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, today was the day we went to the pumpkin patch but - it was fun anyway.

Knitting-wise, I'm chugging away on my Lupine Lace socks - that means I ripped it out and started again - but I am enjoying the pattern right now. I just don't think I am a natural sock knitter. Now, Guinifer over at Halfway Down the Stairs, she's got the sock mojo. Visit her if you want to see something get done right!

I also need to buckle down and finish the "Back to School" vest. Unfortunately, after doing the right side of the vest, the instructions just say, "Reverse the directions and finish the left side." I hate that! It really slows me down. Designers, stop that silliness! You have a whole book to chart the stuff out!

My Middle Daughter had her class play this week so our schedule was really crazy. She was Hippolyta, the Amazon Queen, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I have a hard time imagining "Miss Hair and Nails" as an amazon, but, it is the theatre! Unfortunately, she is looking a bit peevish in this photo ("Peevish in Pink"- the sequal to "Pretty in Pink!") but my photo ops were very limited. It was a well done performance - give a bunch a teenaged boys the chance to goof off in the "rude mechanicals" scenes and they always run with the ball!

The Saturday Seven is always easy when Youngest Child is growing. Jammies, sweat pants, shorts and tee shirts - off to Baby Karl.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In honor of book club - or, why I don't get that much knitting done!

I haven't quite got the hang of knitting and reading at the same time. Despite this, I recently joined a Yahoo Group for readers of S.M. Stirling. He writes long, involved sci-fi/fantasy novels that are aimed very much at men. Despite the fact that I am not a member of that group, I found this great quiz. I may be the least military minded reader of Stirling's "Alternative Histories" but at least I'll have some useful skills (knitting and spinning to clothe my family!) when the revolution comes . . .

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wild Wisconsin Weekends - Part Deux!

Yep, once again the Monday Night Book Club took its tacos, margaritas, books and movies to the wilds of Wisconsin. Since we didn't continue setting off the smoke alarms, everything turned out fine!

I started off the festivities a little early by checking out a few of the local yarn stores featured in the Y.E.S. 2nd annual shop hop which began Friday, October 12. The theme of this year's shop hop was "Tools of the Trade" and every shop gave out a small knitting-related tool. I only managed to get to three of the seven shops - 3 Kittens Needle Arts, Zandy's and the Yarnery. I keep hearing great things about the Coldwater Collaborative but I just couldn't fit in any others before we left on the Wisconsin Book Trip.

I did buy a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Firefly to use in a pair of Christmas socks. I'm working on a pair of Evelyn A. Clark's Lupine Lace socks. Good Friend Melissa said, "Should I have stopped you?"

This weekend's Saturday Seven was pretty easy. Seven outgrown pairs of shorts, sweatpants and a teeshirt - all Youngest Child size. Or what was his size. Not quite-a-baby Karl will be getting some hand-me-downs this week! Now I have to stop and get back to reading my book club selection for the month, "Frankenstein."

Monday, October 08, 2007

My life - with music.

Blogger Puggyknits sent this video by Anita Renfroe to me and it is so true! Enjoy!

I think I've said at least three of these today - and it's only 10 a.m. I really like the line about "Your Ipod is my Ipod!"

Sunday, October 07, 2007

MKG Knit Out 2007: An insider's view!

Today's Knit Out seemed to go without a hitch - tons of people, lots of teachers, a Mountain of Yarn and lots of fun. One of my jobs was to "pre-cast on" needles for the teachers to use and we ended giving away all the yarn and the extra needles. Not all went to beginning knitters - many charitable knitters picked up supplies for their groups - but we gave away 150 sets of needles, 400 skeins of yarn and 266 people signed up for door prizes. And my feet hurt at the end!

Both Good Friend Melissa and I helped out with the fashion shows - she is wearing a lovely "picture" sweater - but my modeling shots just didn't turn out.

My green Kiri Shawl made another appearance - the model is a knitter from the Yarn Garage and her shawls put mine to shame! She did the Mystery Stole #3 and it was gorgeous.

After I got home and had a bite of dinner and a nap, I worked a few rows on my Vest. I think I'm wearing it too high here but as I have no shoulder straps, I couldn't really place it correctly. It better get cooler soon - it was 80 degrees F. and horribly muggy outside.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

See you tomorrow!

Yep, I'm on the advertising committee for the Minnesota Knitters' Guild and our own LOCAL Knit Out is tomorrow, Sunday, October 7th at Brookdale Center. We'll be knitting up a storm from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the center of the mall. I just listened to the "Cast On" podcast and Brenda Dayne (Sound of angelic trumpets plays HERE!) mentioned our event. She is so great! I might bring along my sad Pink Sock, just to get some professional knitting help.

I've been knitting along on the "Back to School" vest but not getting very far. I've joined a Masters Swim club and the extra workouts are killing my wrists and ankles! I am just not very flexible any more. My husband saw me stretching my hands this morning and asked if I was knitting in my sleep again. Yes, I have dreamed of knitting and awakened with very stiff wrists!

This reminder of Time and Tide (plus my extra spinning this week) cut my knitting output in half. Ah, well, at least I'm getting excercise.

This week's Saturday Seven are spare paperback books, a kitchen knife and a case for Treo 650 phone. My husband got a new phone and doesn't need the case any more so, off to Freecycle. The knife is being donated to my church's kitchen. The books are going into more "To any soldier" boxes - they are kind of addictive!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Staying up late with the Dyers

I've been on the search for some new fibers to spin but I thought I'd better get my current crop out the way. So, I finished up some Punta roving that I bought from Paradise Fibers. It was very soft and a little hard to manage but I THINK that the final product wasn't too bad.

I love the orange color. I am still having trouble with tieing the dyer's knots just right - I am getting some color changing there but I can probably cut out spots of the yarn while knitting. Yes, I do cut yarn when I have to. I think I'm going to use the orange for a wrist and waistline stripe on a blue sweater. Or as part of Fair Isle yoke. Youngest Child would like a hoodie but I've already done one of those for him.

I divied the total up into a couple of skeins after I finished spinning it but I began the dyeing process a little too late for comfort. I ended up staying up to to 1 a.m. with the green and orange skeins. Sometimes, waiting for that dye bath to exhaust is exhausting! I made the yellow skein this morning and hung the whole lot out to dry on the line. Thank goodness for sunshine - it's been horribly rainy and yucky this fall.

Tonight, I spent some time taking it from skeins and turning into center pull balls. Once I get the purple vest going, I'll spend some time coming up with a pattern. Cheerful colors - they'll make it easy to spot Youngest Child in a crowd!